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A team of international stars, and a prominent Iranian producer, made the tough decision as to who got what in this year’s competition. Filmmaker George Miller served as president of the jury and he was joined by French director Arnaud Desplechin and Hungarian director Lazlo Nemes.
There were many actors on the jury: Kirsten Dunst from the U.S.; Italian actress, director, writer Valeria Golino; Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen; French actress Vanessa Paradis; and Donald Sutherland from Canada. Joining the crowd was illustrious Iranian producer Katayoon Shahabi.
From the smallest to Biggest: Well, not really small, just short. The Palme for best short film went to “Timecode” directed by Juanjo Gimenez, with a special mention to Joao Paulo Miranda Maria for “The Girl Who Danced With the Devil.”
The Camera d’or for best first feature film, was awarded to “Divines,” directed by Houda Benyamina. First films from any section of the festival (not only the official competition) are eligible for this award. “Divine” was shown in the Directors’ Fortnight/Quinzaine des Realisateurs.
Best Performance by an Actor went to Shahab Hosseini, in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.” Farhadi also won the screenplay award for his very particular take on Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”
The female acting award was taken home by Jaclyn Jose for her perfomance in “Ma Rosa,” the latest film by Filipino cinema powerhouse Brilliante Mendoza, who seems to make at least one film a year.
Andrea Arnold took home the Jury Prize for “American Honey.” This was her third Jury Prize for her third film in the Cannes competition. Nice to get an award, but here’s hoping Andrea can claw her way up the palme food chain next time.
There was a tie for best director. The award was shared by Cristian Mungiu for “Graduation,” and Olivier Assayas for “Personal Shopper.” The Romanian director Mungiu made his third trip to the stage. He won the Palme d’or for his drama “Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days” in 2007 and won the screenwriting prize for “Beyond the Hills” in 2002. Assayas, on the other hand, snagged his first award after having shown five films in the competition.
The Grand Prix went to Xavier Dolan for “It’s Only the End of the World.” Dolan won the Jury Prize a few years ago (sharing it with Jean-Luc Godard). Notice that his prizes get closer and closer to the top prize; Arnold is kept in a holding pattern. But Dolan is certainly working his way up to the Palme d’or. Speaking of which, Ken Loach won his second Palme d’or for “I, Daniel Blake.”
The documentary award, cutely titled the “L’Oeil d’or,” was given to the Brazilian film “Cinema Novo” by Eryk Rocha. Honrable mention went to Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya for “The Cinema Travelers” from India.
President of the documentary jury was Gianfranco Rosi (“Sacre Gra,” “Fire at Sea”). He was joined in deliberations by filmmakers Anne Aghion and Thierry Garrel, actress Natacha Regnier and Brazilian critic Amir Labaki.
This was just the second year for the documentary prize. And it hasn’t reached the big time yet; the award is given out in a separate ceremony the day before the competitions winners are announced. Perhaps one day we’ll see documentaries awarded on the same stage as the competition.
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